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Not noticing a possible drug interaction is a major medical error

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Modern medicine is truly impressive. There are now prescription drugs that can do everything from help those with restless leg syndrome to helping people grow longer and darker eyelashes. Medications can cure a disease, stave off symptoms or even improve someone’s sense of well-being and emotional balance.

Physicians often prescribe medication to address symptoms or concerns that patients bring up during an appointment. Unfortunately, the proliferation of prescription drugs also means that doctors must learn about many more drugs than they would have had to know decades ago.

Combine the increased number of drugs with the pressure to see many patients every day, which means minimizing patient interaction time, and you have a situation that could easily lead to dangerous prescription drug mistakes. Specifically, the prescribing physician may fail to notice a drug interaction or warn the patient about other potential interactions.

If a physician forgets or ignores another drug, the result could be deadly

When you take two or more drugs at the same time, those drugs can interact with one another in a number of ways. Sometimes, drugs increase each other’s effects, which can be dangerous for the patient. Other times, drugs can negate one another, meaning that taking a new medication keeps another drug you depend on from working properly. It is also possible for the combination of medications to produce a completely different symptom or consequence for the patient.

Your physician should always review your list of prescriptions in full before making any new medical decisions, especially the prescription of a new drug. Additionally, your pharmacist should check prescriptions for potential interactions with other drugs you take. When medical professionals fail to notice an interaction, patients can wind up sickened or even dying as a result.

Your physician should warn you about other potential interactions as well

Prescription drugs don’t just interact with each other. They also interact with many other substances that we encounter and ingest. For example, taking some medications means that you can no longer safely eat grapefruit. Other medications could become dangerous if you use tobacco products or drink caffeine while on them.

Your physician should provide you with legitimate safety advice, not just a pamphlet. If they fail to warn you about drug interactions, they may have liability for any injuries or losses you suffered as a result of taking that medication.